So the Queen’s Speech includes plans for a renewed crackdown on
asylum seekers. No surprises there then. But the proposals to use
the threat of destitution and the break up of whole families to
force out those whose claims have been rejected plumbs new depths
of moral bankruptcy.
And this heartless approach is also likely to prove futile. The
government is convinced that faced with the stark choice of having
their benefits withdrawn and their children taken into care,
asylum-seeking families will simply get on the next plane out.
But surely that depends on how bad things are in their home
country. If they feel their children’s lives or futures are at risk
they may see the care system here as the lesser of two evils.
This could lead to a huge rise in costs for social services and
wipe out the already inadequate extra £10m announced for
The home secretary is hell-bent on trying to look tough on asylum.
But these ill-thought out measures will just cause misery for
families and extra expense for local authorities. And far from
achieving the desired outcome, the most likely result is a
challenge to the government under human rights legislation – a
challenge that it is likely to lose.